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By Mark Bell | February 27, 2007

The 2007 Academy Awards were an overall lackluster affair, but they did have a number of solid highlights. The most obvious highlight of all? How about Marty Scorsese finally winning that Oscar for Best Director. With his friends Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg standing on stage waiting to award the honor, it was pretty much a given that Scorsese would be the winner. Why the four of them didn’t break out the beer bong and have a college kegger right there in front of the world is beyond me, but it was an amazing moment. For once the Academy got one right!

Well, two. Many speculated, ourselves included, that Forest Whitaker, while being the best actor, was going to lose to Peter O’Toole because the Academy, playing politics, would want to honor O’Toole before he passed on. “No way,” the Academy proclaimed, as they dug O’Toole’s grave and danced on it, with Forest holding the Academy Award high.

The biggest shocker of the evening came in the Best Foreign Film category. While “Pan’s Labyrinth” was winning the majority of its other nominations, the one expected given category was lost, as Germany’s “The Lives of Others” took top Foreign Prize. Seems everyone involved with “Pan’s Labyrinth” won something, except Guillermo del Toro. Don’t feel bad though, Guillermo, maybe you’re the new Scorsese.

Other upsets included “Dreamgirls” getting shut out of Best Song (with 3 of the 5 nominations, you’d figure they’d have won something), and “Children of Men” losing Best Cinematography (which is, simply, ridiculous).

The rest of the awards were as expected: uneventful and boring. Ellen Degeneres was a safe choice as host, not dancing anywhere that would get the show in trouble, and the overall tone was middle-ground comfortable. Jack Nicholson was possessed by the ghost of Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood seemed drunk most of the evening and the new power couple in Hollywood is obviously Abigail Breslin and Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (who practically stole the show, simply by making a few mistakes).

Note to the Academy: drop the montages, drop the mimes, drop the musical performances and, finally, the awards would come in on time. Hell, they’d be done in less than two hours. No one, NO ONE likes the extra peripheral s**t during the presentation, we just want to know who won so we can collect our office pool money the next morning. Oh, and for those keeping track:

Prediction Success Rate:
Film Threat: 9 for 24 (38% correct)
Film Threat Audience: 5 for 6 (83% correct)
Chris Gore: 10 for 24 (42% correct)

The rest of 2007 is upon us now and we can forget about any Academy Award hype or conversation for at least another 8 months, and thank Jennifer Hudson’s God for that. It was physically exhausting, and emotionally trying, but that’s the Academy Awards.

– Mark Bell, Helen Mirren’s Secret Lover (that’s what we are…)

The full list of winners for the 2007 Academy Awards:
Best Motion Picture: ““The Departed”
Lead Actor: Forest Whitaker, “The Last King of Scotland”
Lead Actress: Helen Mirren, “The Queen”
Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, “Little Miss Sunshine”
Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, “Dreamgirls”
Directing: Martin Scorsese, “The Departed”
Foreign Language Film: “The Lives of Others,” Germany
Adapted Screenplay: William Monahan, “The Departed”
Original Screenplay: Michael Arndt, “Little Miss Sunshine”
Animated Feature Film: “Happy Feet”
Art Direction: “Pan’s Labyrinth”
Cinematography: “Pan’s Labyrinth”
Sound Mixing: “Dreamgirls”
Sound Editing: “Letters From Iwo Jima”
Original Score: “Babel,” Gustavo Santaolalla
Original Song: “I Need to Wake Up” from “An Inconvenient Truth,” Melissa Etheridge
Costume: “Marie Antoinette”
Documentary Feature: “An Inconvenient Truth”
Documentary Short Subject: “The Blood of Yingzhou District”
Film Editing: “The Departed”
Makeup: “Pan’s Labyrinth”
Animated Short Film: “The Danish Poet”
Live Action Short Film: “West Bank Story”
Visual Effects: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”

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